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Tim Duncan steady as ever

Jun 7, 2013, 3:37 AM EDT

Spurs'  Duncan and Heat's Battier battle for the ball during Game 1 of their NBA Finals basketball playoff in Miami

Tim Duncan caught a pass with deep position in the paint and Mike Miller guarding him, and Duncan immediately attempted a hook shot and missed. Duncan turned his head to the right as if were making the first move in shaking it in frustration, and he’d certainly be justified. That was Duncan’s fifth miss in his first five shots.

But Duncan ran upcourt with his head turned to the right, never actually shaking it or showing any other sign of irritation.

The only thing Duncan shook off was his slow start on his way to his 145th playoff double-double in his 130th playoff win.

“I didn’t change anything, honestly,” Duncan told reporters after the game.

He never does.

In his regular-season career, Duncan has averaged 20.7 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes.

In his post-season career, Duncan has averaged 20.4 points, 11.1 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.3 blocks per 36 minutes.

And in 37 minutes tonight, Duncan had 20 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

Even at age 37, Duncan is maintaining his career levels. He’s now a cool 5-0 in Game 1s of the NBA Finals, and if he keeps up these numbers, the Spurs should be set.

He’s never lost a Finals series, and like everything else with him, why would that change now?

  1. funktron2x - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:47 AM

    It’s already cementing his legendary-ness the way he is playing now, but imagine if he’s still this good next year… No big has ever been this good at his age. He still beats fools down the court and finishes fast breaks! He has even taken a board from the defensive end and gone coast to coast this season.

    • manchestermiracle - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      Ah, you youngsters with your limited memories. I seem to recall, way back in the day, another age-less wonder by the name of Kareem Abdul Jabbar. You know, the all-time leading scorer.

      When he was 37, in ’83-’84, he averaged 21.5/7.3/2.6/1.8 (points/rebounds/assists/blocks) on the way to a Finals appearance. In ’84-’85 his regular season numbers were 22.0/7.9/3.2/2.1. The Lakers won the title that year with Kareem averaging 26 and 9 on 60% shooting in the finals, earning him the MVP award. He was 38.

    • zerole00 - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      This is what happens when you play smart instead of brute forcing it with your body. Duncan at 37 is in better health than Kobe and Wade, who seem a decade older.

    • redbaronx - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      I like how Duncan lost weight. I was marveling how much slimmer he is. He’s not the same guy he was 10 years ago. I think his reactions might actually be quicker, if he’s not faster. Way to reinvent himself. I have nothing but admiration for the guy.

  2. cantonbound13 - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:08 AM

    Greatest player the last 12 years. He’s about to get his 5th ring & is now 5-0 in the Finals vs. espn’s overhyped LeBron.
    He’s a true professional without the arrogance.

    • jacksonkane - Jun 7, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      I agree and want the Spurs to win, but Lebron has an amazing game. 18/18/10 is freakishly amazing. I keep going back to:
      1. Bosh Spice playing too soft and refusing to be a monster in the paint
      2. Wade’s wobbly knees

      I am not taking away from Duncan. A true solid Duncan performance. But this was a team win.

    • redbaronx - Jun 7, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      @cantonbound13 – I picked the Spurs in 6 games, but lets not coronate the Spurs yet either. Lots of things can happen. You might not be old enough to remember, but in 1988 the Pistons were playing even with the Lakers up to game 4/5 and many people thought the Pistons would win the series, but Isaiah Thomas got injured and the Lakers ended up winning, with the Pistons beating them the following year.

      A series can turn on an injury. Too early to call at this moment. The Heat have plenty of time to make adjustments, but like I told my friend, my feeling is that the Spurs win this series because they have more players with heart. To me the Heat have never been tested. OKC didn’t have the hardness. Dallas was always a bit of a cream puff team. Boston, Indiana, and Chicago have tested the Heat the last three years, but they didn’t have the talent. The Spurs have the heart, system, talent, and the cool calm of a champion that’s been there. They don’t panic.

      I’m interested to see how the Heat will react if they get down in Game 2.

      • edwardemanuelson - Jun 7, 2013 at 3:29 PM

        This, all the way. You’ve nailed it.

        This incarnation of the Heat, post their 2011 Finals melt-down, have been tested in some ways, but they’ve never really been challenged. These Spurs are a formidable opponent.

      • delius1967 - Jun 8, 2013 at 12:13 AM

        Dallas was a bit of a cream puff team? You do remember that Dallas won that series, right? So the Heat were not tested because they lost to a “cream puff”?

      • redbaronx - Jun 10, 2013 at 12:27 AM

        @delius1967 – Just because Dallas won in 2011, that doesn’t mean they were a tough team. Nobody expected Dallas to repeat. Do you know why? Like I said, they were a cream puff team and benefited from a weak year with traditional powers in the west (see Lakers) sliding, and Miami was still trying to figure out how to play together. Dallas winning in 2011 has a big asterisk next to it so
        A) I don’t put too much stock in it.
        B) Even though Miami lost to Dallas, my feeling is that the Spurs is the first REAL test for Miami in the Finals. We’re in year three of LeBron, Wade, and Bosh and they’ve got their system down, and a championship year under their belt. To me this is the first Finals challenge they’re facing now. OKC wasn’t a tough team. I didn’t think so before, and I still don’t.

        Like Popovich said, “I want to see some nasty!” You don’t get that from Dallas and OKC. But you will get it from the Spurs!

  3. 1historian - Jun 7, 2013 at 7:58 AM

    been there done that

    next question

  4. saint1997 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Those per36 stats are phenomenal Dan – amazing to look at his consistency like that

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